Take a stroll at any of these tried-and-true spots during peak leaf peeping season — that's usually mid-October into November — and you're sure to get your fill of fall's splendor with vibrant reds, oranges and yellows.
BAYARD CUTTING ARBORETUM
This state park is a popular spot for its stroller-friendly paved paths that travel through the four-season garden and evergreen collections, showcasing century-old Spanish firs and holly trees. Don't miss the pebbled path for a breezy walk that hugs the Connetquot River, where you might see ospreys, swans, ducks and turtles.
INFO Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, (early fall and spring), 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (late fall and winter), 440 Montauk Hwy., Great River; 631-581-1002, bayardcuttingarboretum.com; $8 per vehicle (April-November).
CONNETQUOT RIVER STATE PARK
The state park preserve in Oakdale has about 50 miles of trails where trees and bushes burst with the colors of autumn. Centered along the river, it's a popular destination for hikers, birders, horseback riders and those who like to go fly-fishing for trout (by permit only; freshwater license required, $25 fee). Foliage photo-ops abound — don't miss the seasonal view of the Nicoll Grist Mill, one of the last of its kind on Long Island. Guided historic tours of Southside Sportsmen's Clubhouse and Grist Mill are available from September through June ($4 a person) on the first and third Sundays of the month.
INFO Open Tuesdays-Sundays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. through Oct. 9, and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 10-March 31, 4090 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale; 631-581-1005, parks.ny.gov; $8 parking through Oct. 9 and on weekends Oct. 14-March 31.
PLANTING FIELDS ARBORETUM
The 409-acre estate offers a spectacular display of foliage, including a maple tree collection with about 100 different types along with showstopping dahlias in bloom, typically from mid-September through October. The Synoptic Garden's 5 acres of trees and shrubs, some of which produce berries in the fall, will show off their striking tones as well. The displays in the Main Greenhouse are also a must-see.
INFO Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay; 516-922-9200, plantingfields.org; $8 parking weekends and holidays through Nov. 19.
SANDS POINT PRESERVE
Choose from six trails that wind through the 216 acres of the old Guggenheim estate. The trails vary in length from a quarter-mile to 1 mile and feature a mix of landscaped gardens and wooded areas that flourish with fall colors. The site hosts family-friendly guided nature walks and self-guided nature and birding walks year-round.
INFO Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 5; 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point; 516-571-7901, thesandspointpreserve.com; $15 parking.
QUOGUE WILDLIFE REFUGE
Explore 7 miles of trails at this 305-acre nature preserve, where you'll see forests and ponds in all the shades of fall around Old Ice Pond. Its main trail is stroller- and wheelchair-friendly, while other trails traverse the wetlands and the ecologically rare Dwarf Pines.
INFO Open sunrise to sunset daily, 3 Old Country Rd., Quogue; 631-653-4771, quoguewildliferefuge.org; free.